Sudan A-G - 'Peace Talks Will Determine Fate of Al Bashir'

Khartoum — Sudan's Attorney General Tajelsir El Hibir has conditioned the transfer of deposed Sudanese dictator Omar Al Bashir to the International Criminal Court (ICC)on the outcome of the ongoing peace talks with the Darfur rebel movements in Juba.

On Sunday, during a formal meeting with the US Congress delegation led by Tibor Nagy, US Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs, who are currently on an official visit to Sudan, El Hibir said that the handing over of Al Bashir to The Hague depends on the outcome of the current peace talks, the victims, and other legal issues.

In the meeting, El Hibir admitted that there are challenges such as the immunity of some officials that hinder the work of the recently formed investigative committees regarding the crimes committed during the toppled regime.

"We have new plans to lift immunities based on prior notification and a specific period," he said. "we want to assure the American people that we respect human rights values and we are working hard to ensure rule of law in Sudan. All the alleged perpetrators will face justice," he added.

El Hibir urged the US administration to expedite the lifting of the economic sanctions on Sudan because the reasons for the sanctions have disappeared, he claimed.

"Although we understand that [before] lifting the economic sanctions on Sudan associated with some procedures, the American people must know that Sudan has become a different state now," he said.

He reiterated that he will investigate all human rights violations, corruption, and money laundry throughout the former regime since 1989. He said that all the crimes committed in Darfur will be investigated again.

On 24 October, Radio Dabanga reported that Attorney General Tajelsir El Hibir has taken measures to lift the immunity of members of Sudan's now defunct National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), allowing them to face charges from the public prosecution.

Al Bashir convicted

Al Bashir has already been convicted of currency offences, and given a custodial sentence by a Khartoum court, but as he still faces charges in Sudan, he remains incarcerated in the notorious Kober prison in Khartoum North, where so many of his opponents were detained and tortured during the 30 years of his repressive regime.

Al Bashir was indicted by the ICC in 2009 for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and in 2010 for genocide. The court in The Hague also charged former Interior Minister Ahmed Haroun, former Defence Minister Abdelrahim Hussein, and janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb.

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) told the UN Security Council last week during her briefing on Sudan that "concrete steps" must be taken towards ending impunity for atrocity crimes in Darfur,

In her 30th report to the UN Security Council, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, said that, "emboldened by positive political changes over the last six months, since the overthrow of former dictator Omar Al Bashir, that include a Constitutional Declaration, and a new Sovereign Council and Cabinet, she expressed her hope that "Sudan will honour its commitments to deliver justice" for the victims of civil conflict in the restive Darfur region, stretching back decades.

During the Darfur conflict between the government, their militiamen allies and rebel groups, which began in 2003, the UN estimated that around 300,000 were killed, and around 2.7 million forced from their homes.

Open letter

On Friday, a group of Sudanese activists living in and the Netherlands and elsewhere in the diaspora presented an open letter to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC, as part of a campaign to have the deposed dictator Al Bashir and his co-accused extradited to face the ICC on charges of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.

The activists demonstrated outside the International Criminal Court before delivering the open letter by hand.

On December 29, Hundreds of Darfuris living in Khartoum took to the streets of the capital demanding that the perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and above all the ousted president Omar Al Bashir, be handed over to the ICC.

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